Atlanta Braves trade targets are easy to find from likely sellers at the deadline, but who could be possible targets from other contenders looking to swap?
Things are definitely humming right now for the Atlanta Braves, but the NL East leaders aren’t still without needs that could be addressed at the MLB Trade Deadline. Most notably, they need starting pitching and bullpen depth while also possibly looking for an upgrade in left field.
It’s easy to look at teams shaping up to be sellers at the deadline, clubs such as the Cardinals, White Sox, Tigers, Rockies, Royals and Cubs, among others, as the first spots that the Braves should look when eyeing trade targets. That, however, is not always how the deadline works, and that could especially be the case in 2023.
Jim Bowden of The Athletic (subscription required) noted in an early trade deadline preview that we could see more contender-to-contender trades than otherwise this season. The key when it comes to two buyers making a trade, though, is that they have to be able to help fill needs for one another while also not creating another need.
So for the Braves, what does that mean for the players and teams that should be on their radar as targets for trades? There are three clear options that make sense for Atlanta, but one aggressive trade option shouldn’t be in the mix. Let’s take a look.
Braves Rumors: 3 trade targets from playoff contenders, 1 team to avoid
3. Guardians SP Cal Quantrill could offer Braves what they need in rotation
Calling the Cleveland Guardians a contender in the general sense might be more than a bit of a stretch. They enter June 17 five games under .500 (32-37). If we’re talking about teams with a legitimate chance of making the playoffs, then a team that’s only 2.5 games out of first in the dismal AL Central has to qualify.
Obviously, the talk of the trade deadline for the Guardians is Shane Bieber, who has 1.5 years remaining on his contract, which is the range when Cleveland’s front office has made a living offf of selling high-end assets before having to pay them a lucrative contract. We’ve seen it numerous times.
The Braves could very well be in on Bieber, but what if there were another pitcher who fit the bill — someone like Cal Quantrill.
While Quantrill has an extra year of club control on his contract than Bieber, he’s still in that range where Cleveland could be looking to offload him. More importantly for the Braves, he doesn’t have a Cy Young track record that would drive up the trade price.
Now, it’s undoubtedly important to note that Quantrill has been on the 15-day IL since the start of June with shoulder inflammation on his throwing arm. That’s concerning, especially with him sporting a 5.61 ERA and 1.42 WHIP on the season.
If there is word of a clean bill of health, though, this is a 28-year-old who posted a 1.21 ERA in 2022 and 1.18 ERA the yeear prior to that. Point being, Quantrill clearly has the goods when healthy and could massively upgrade the Braves rotation.
Even better, if the Braves are able to find outfield depth in another trade or want to dangle a player like Travis d’Arnaud out there, they can answer a big need for Cleveland in trading them a power bat who can play multiple roles. This could work to address big needs if both teams find an overall deal that works value-wise.